Sunday, March 8, 2015

Review: Echo Lake

Echo Lake (Swift River Valley - Book 4) by Carla Neggers

Publication Date: 01/27/2015
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Harelequin MIRA
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 352

(Received for an honest review from Harlequin MIRA)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Carla Neggers on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the Series:

Swift River Valley

1. Secrets of the Lost Summer
2. That Night on Thistle Lane
3. Cider Brook
4. Echo Lake

Coverart: Click on the image for a larger, clearer view of the books in this series.

Excerpt from Echo Lake, courtesy of the author's website.


In snowy Swift River Valley, unexpected romance is just around the corner… 

Heather Sloan has landed her dream job—the renovation of Vic Scarlatti's stately 1912 country home overlooking the icy waters of Echo Lake in Knights Bridge, Massachusetts. It's the perfect project for the family business, but for once, Heather is in charge. 

Diplomatic Security Service agent Brody Hancock left Knights Bridge at eighteen, a few steps ahead of arrest and the wrath of Heather's older brothers. Though Brody had never planned to return, Vic, a retired diplomat and friend, needs his help. 

Staying at Vic's guest house makes it impossible to avoid running into a Sloan at every turn—especially Heather. Seeing her again has affected Brody more than he wants to admit. But Heather is wary of Brody's sudden interest in her, and she suspects there's more to his homecoming than he's letting on…. 

Set against the scenic backdrop of a New England winter, Echo Lake is a captivating tale of family, friends and the possibility of new love


Carla Neggers brings readers the fourth book in her Swift River Valley series. Set in a quaint town in New England, this book has all the hallmarks of a good romance. A sweet and capable heroine, making a living in a man's world. An alpha male hero, that will have readers heaving a sigh or two. And a bit of mystery to keep things interesting. Readers looking for a fresh, interesting story that will keep them up at night, need look no further. A good addition to an already wonderful series!

This is my first book in the Swift River Valley series and I'll have to say it was a bit surprising. I am used to reading Carla Neggers romantic suspense novels   and this one was more of a contemporary romance. There was a mystery, but Neggers was very light handed with that aspect of the story. It was definitely a change from what I was used to with the author, but I still enjoyed it very much. It proves that Neggers has a lot of versatility in her writing. She was able to keep me interested without all of the usual bells and whistles.

Since this was book four in the series, I felt a little out of the loop for the first few chapters. It took me a little while to learn the ins and outs of Knight's Bridge, Massachusetts, but I absolutely loved the setting. Neggers does such an amazing job with the scenery and describing the area that it will probably make the reader long for their own home in New England, especially in winter. 

The characters start popping up all over the place and it took me a little sorting through to figure out who was who and which ones were regular characters in the series and who was new, but eventually it all started to gel. I wouldn't say this one has to be read in order, but remember it has a bit of a slow start and you might need to be on your toes to sort it all out, if you haven't read the previous books in the series, but if you give it a chance I think you'll really enjoy the style of writing and the atmosphere that Neggers creates.

I would say most of the story is really about Vic, rather than Heather and Brody. Yes, it is a romance and that part of the story is one of the most important parts, but I felt like it was a bit overshadowed by all of the inner drama with Vic and his issues with retiring. It made for a slightly slower pace than I'm used to with Neggers writing, but that didn't take anything away from the enjoyment of the book. Eventually, the hero and the heroine get down to the business of finding each other and finding out what they want from each other. I liked the issue with Heather's five brothers and Brody and thought that added a sort of light element to the book that was refreshing.

Bottom Line:

This isn't your average Carla Neggers book. I like her hard boiled romantic suspense novels, but this was a nice change of pace. I think I will most likely read the other books in the series because I am intrigued to see more of this kind of writing from this author. Echo Lake has a bit of a slow beginning but once it heats up, readers won't be able to put it down. A great addition to the series and I'm looking forward to going back and catching up!

Echo Lake is available NOW from your favorite bookseller!

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Carla Neggers is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 60 novels of contemporary romance and romantic suspense, including her popular Sharpe & Donovan and Swift River Valley series. Her books have been translated into 24 languages and sold in over 30 countries. Carla is always plotting her next adventure--whether in life or for one of her novels. A frequent traveler to Ireland, she lives with her family in New England.


holdenj said...

I also haven't read beyond her more suspenseful tales. Sounds good and I thought the cover was cute.

justpeachy36 said...

I liked the cover on this one as well. I like Carla's more suspenseful stories, but this was a nice change of pace.